Boosting trade ties top priority for Iran, Turkey

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29
By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:

Boosting bilateral trade ties is the main priority for Tehran and Ankara, Iranian Industry, Mines and Trade Minister Mohamadreza Nematzadeh said on January 29, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported.

"Iran's current administration is improving its relations with foreign countries and Turkey as a neighbour is of high importance for Tehran," Nematzadeh said.

"The two countries' trade turnover is not acceptable," he said, adding that by removing obstacles, their respective businessmen can boost trade exchanges.

Iran and Turkey signed four memorandums of understanding (MoU) on mutual cooperation in Tehran on Jan. 29, Iran`s IRINN TV reported.

Visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran's First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri signed a MoU on Supreme Council of Cooperation.

Other memorandums were signed during the Erdogan-Jahangiri meeting.

Jahangiri said at a joint press conference with Erdogan that Iran-Turkey mutual relations are developing. He added that the two countries intend to increase the trade volume to $30 billion in 2015.

Jahangiri underlined that Iran and Turkey have reached constructive agreements on mutual issues and in particular, economic cooperation. He also expressed the hope that an agreement on exporting gas to Turkey will be finalised.

An MoU on preferential trade was signed by Iranian Industry Minister, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh and Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekchi.

The MoU was signed after several rounds of negotiations in recent years.

The fifth document from the joint trade committee between the two countries was another MoU which has been signed by the two ministers.

The official Islamic Republic News Agency and Turkish state-run Anadolu News Agency also signed an MoU on mutual cooperation.

Erdogan, who heads the country's official delegation, arrived in Iran on Jan. 28. The Turkish PM is expected to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Jan. 29.

Boosting bilateral trade ties is considered the main priority of Erdogan's official visit.

Turkey imported 180,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran in 2011. However, the figure dropped to 105,000 barrels per day in 2013 due to US-led sanctions again targeting Iran's oil and gas sector.

According to the IRNA, the two countries trade volume stood at $13.5 billion in 2013. Iran's oil and gas exports accounted for $7.6 billion of the aforementioned amount, while Turkey's exports to Iran were a little more than $4 billion.

Iran and Turkey are hoping to increase their bilateral trade to $30 billion in the near future. The figure is scheduled to reach $100 billion in nine years.

Each country formed a group to continue negotiations so that the two neighbouring states will be able to finalise the agreements and sign the memorandums of understanding during the Turkish prime minister's visit to Tehran.

Iranian-Turkish trade was around 22 billion dollars in 2012.

The two countries have always stressed that their short term annual trade target should be about 30-35 billion dollars.

Edited by S.M.

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